I have mastered the skill of embellishment to parents. I direct sports camps during the summer and coach different sports teams during the school year. My job is to make sure that my workers are running the camp smoothly and most importantly: deal with parents.
If you haven’t had experience with working with the parents of kids you are in charge of, don’t try. It’s exhausting if I’m being honest with you. I’m not a confrontation kind of person. I avoid it for as long as I can. I once ignored someone for six months to avoid a conversation I really did not want to have.
As you can see, I’m not really the best with people, so this job is a bit of a contradiction to my whole personality. I’d like to think I’ve gotten used to it, however, so it isn’t as tough. Some kids are absolutely awful. They don’t listen to their coaches, they talk over each other, or they break the equipment we have. I even had a kid who ran away last summer. That was a fun chase…not.
What’s important here is that there are times when you embellish the kids to the parents, because they aren’t one of the really bad kids, and then there are times when you actually need to tell the parents that their children are wild tigers that need to be controlled.
In The Catcher in the Rye the main character, Holden, is on a train during his escape from school. The mother of a boy in his class sits next to him and they strike up conversation. Holden knows her son is a brat (to put it nicely), but he could see that she thought highly of her son. Throughout the conversation he learns that she thinks her son, Ernie, is shy and doesn’t get along well with the other boys.
Holden, of course, takes matters into his own hands and reassures her that Ernie is one of the most popular kids at school and he is very modest and shy. Holden knows these are all lies, as he expresses his strong dislike of Ernie. He likes his mom though, so he tells her what she wants to hear.
A lot of parents will come up to me and ask about their child in the camp and it’s usually the shy children’s parents. I have to reassure them that their kid is well-behaved and getting along with their team and they are fitting in well. Sometimes, they are too shy to fully fit in, but I don’t want the parents to worry, so I tell them their kid is doing alright.
I think a lot of people will embellish facts when talking to parents of other people, or even to their own parents. When your friend’s mom asks how your friend is doing in school, you reassure them they are doing fine, even if they might be struggling.
We either don’t want to get into a lengthy conversation, or we don’t want parents to worry. If you think about it, most parents nowadays are constantly worrying about their children. Where are they going to college? Do they have enough money? Will they get kidnapped? Their growing up and what if they get hurt? Do they even need me anymore?
Parents aren’t perfect and they have as much stress as a teenager does. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to reassure them, even if it’s stretching the truth a bit. They need to know that their child is alright.
This doesn’t mean that you should never go to your parents if you have a problem, because if you are always assuring them that everything is fine, they may get suspicious. Go to them with your problems every so often and appreciate them a bit more.
Your parents do care for you and they are always worrying about your well-being and I don’t think that gets recognized enough.